Human Resources Guide for Organisations

Human Resources

Human Resources are usually ‘stretched’ in many arts organisations and more often than not, we find that people are often job sharing, doing more than one job, “the only one” in their organisation and mostly the output per staff member is of a high volume.

This is the reality for many arts organisations and to address this reality, it is vital that we look at the Human Resources planning for our workplaces and find ways to manage these challenges.

Having a plan becomes more important when we are under pressure and often we say to ourselves “I don’t have time to plan” as we are too busy ‘doing’, yet by looking out our structures, our procedures and our plans, we can really get clear about what our roles entail, how to prioritise and where we need more support.

There are several components to Human Resources management that are useful and by reviewing and implementing will be of benefit to you and your workplace.

It is important to have an allocated Human Resources Person in your organisation, even if you are in a very small team. This person takes responsibility for holding of the information of employees and ensures that the Human Resources functions are coordinated.

The list below is by no means everything that you need to consider, rather a ‘starting point’ of useful information.

Position/Job Description

In many organisations (even if you are the only person in your org) it may have been a very long time, since you have reviewed your Position Description Form (PDF) and some workplaces may not even have one for your role.

Your Position Description is an important ‘road-map’ for what you are doing every day and it is an important tool for you and your employer to refer back to ensure that the work you are doing, is what you are actually employed for.

There are different ways to put together and lay-out a PDF however, please see the template attached to this article or Click here to download. Some important components to this are:

Position Objective: This is a short statement that is a brief summary of the role, the key objectives of the position and should give an overview of the main components of the position.

Department Objectives: This is important, even if you are job-sharing or don’t have distinct departments within your organisation. The department objectives should cover the main functions of the department and briefly outline the key responsibilities of the department as a whole.

Essential Criteria: These criteria should be a list of ‘must-haves’ for the position and are also known as the minimum requirements. This is important to be realistic in this area. Example – do not have ‘Degree Qualified’ if it is not essential to the role.

Desirable Criteria: This is where you can tailor some of the more ‘desirable’ or ‘nice to have’ qualities you would like to have in the position.

Responsibilities: This is a list of responsibilities and not a ‘task list’. This is where you detail areas of responsibilities such as ‘Establish and maintain relationships, with community groups’ – rather than listing the days, names of groups and how often to meet with these groups.

Other items to clarify:

  • Extent of Authority – delegated authority, lines of supervision etc.
  • Hours of Work – detail usual hours of work, amount of hours, anything extra
  • Salary amount and entitlements, superannuation etc.

Acknowledgement of Position Description: Ensure that the Position Description is signed and witnessed, as well as kept on file in a safe place

How do I review my position description?

It is important to review your position description regularly, as often our roles evolve over time as new and different activity takes place in our workplace. It is suggested that a review of your Position Description takes place annually or if there is major change, re-structure or additional responsibilities added to the role.

Some helpful steps to reviewing your Position Description are:

  1. Start by reading your existing Position Description from beginning to end and really re-familiarising yourself with the document.
  2. Put the document to one side and now write/type up a list of all of your current responsibilities without thinking the existing PDF. Just write a list of everything that is currently your responsibility.
  3. Compare your list to your existing PDF and note the differences
  4. If there are major differences to your current PDF, then these need to be discussed with your employer, manager or supervisor. It is not necessarily a negative thing, rather a starting point for a discussion. You may wish to amend your original PDF form in red or ‘track changes’ so that you can identify the original and the current areas of responsibility
  5. By looking at original and current areas of responsibility you then may need to look at the Position Objectives and even the title of the role in conjunction with your direct supervisor

Organisational Structure

By having a clear organisational structure, it clearly defines areas of responsibility, lines of reporting and makes it much easier for staff and other people within your organisation to know who to engage with regarding work matters.

Please refer to the attached document ‘Sample Organisational Structures’ or Click Here to access this PDF…

The samples should give you an idea of some of the different ways that this can arranged and some thoughts about the best organisational structure for you.

Tip – if you are seriously thinking about a restructure or would just like to see how others do it, then send an email to the Circuitwest Email List and ask for people to share their org chart. The organisation is generally very supportive and happy to share information.

Induction Process

We have all been ‘the new guy (or girl)’ in a workplace and it is always quite nerve wracking. It doesn’t matter whether you are the CEO or a cleaner, as a good induction and welcome to a new workplace is always welcome, it helps with people understanding the rules in your work place and ensures that people become productive a lot faster than if they are shown their desk and told “good luck”

Developing your own Induction Process is very much an individualised item as things vary so much from place to place, however there are some pretty standard things that are involved when you start a new job and it is great to get them into a formal process so that everyone gets the same good start.

Please feel free to use the attached template as a starting point and remember to customise it for your own workplace.

Click here for an Induction Template…

When thinking about developing your own induction template, don’t forget to think about the following items:

  • Who is responsible for managing the employee records, paperwork and tax? Even if you are in a small organisation this is important?
  • Do you have a working alone policy for when someone is working in the building or office alone?
  • Do you have an alarm code and key?
  • What happens if the alarm goes off or someone can’t get into the office?
  • Do you have a Social Media and Mobile Phone usage policy?
  • Do you have an employee handbook or policy and procedure manual?

Annual Staff Performance Review

As part of good management practices and to ensure that all staff and management understand how they are currently performing in the role, the priorities of the business and any key focus areas it is important to have an annual Performance Review.

The process, as outlined in the attached document (click here for the resource) is a great way to start a conversation and for the feedback to be a dialogue where both parties assess, discuss and plan for the future together.

By having the staff member ‘self-assess’ and the management also assess the performance, the process is mutually beneficial and is a great starting point for performance management.

Policies and Procedures

As part of the Circuitwest Online Hub some guidelines regarding developing your own Policy and Procedure Manual. Have a look at this article and template for some ideas of whether this is something you need… Click here for article and template remember to customise for your own needs.

Other useful Policy Templates that may be of use include (click on item to download template):